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Musical Note Symbol Names - BrE/AmE

 

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  #1  
Old September 11, 2011, 04:04 PM
Don José Don José is offline
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Musical Note Symbol Names - BrE/AmE

Figuras: note symbols

Español: redonda, blanca, negra, corchea, semicorchea.
American English: whole note, half note, quarter note, eighth note, sixteenth note.
British English: semibreve, minim, crotchet, quaver, semiquaver.

Is it OK the difference between the AE way and the BE one?
Is there any explanation for using two different systems?

Correction: the title should have been "note symbols".

"Music" is a noun, "musical" an adjective.
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Last edited by AngelicaDeAlquezar; September 12, 2011 at 09:29 AM. Reason: Merged back-to-back posts
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Old September 11, 2011, 05:18 PM
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I was only slightly aware of some of the differences between American and British usage. Thanks for providing these. And, there are others.

The differences between the AmE and BrE note names should be noted.

Just as there is a difference in the monetary systems and the way we measure distances and quantities, I would think that the established names for music notes must be used in order to be understood.
I know many musicians that speak AmE. Those I've asked have never heard of the BrE note names. I can only suppose the same can be said of the musicians in England.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don José View Post
Correction: the title should have been "note symbols".

"Music" is a noun, "musical" an adjective.
'Music notes' is proper English. The noun 'music' modifies the noun 'notes'. A noun that modifies a noun is called an adjunct. The Spanish equivalent is 'Notas de Música".

Both 'Music Notes' and 'Musical Notes' mean exactly the same thing. 'Note symbols' is also used, but it isn't as common a term. These three are listed in the order of prevalence.

Last edited by Rusty; September 11, 2011 at 05:21 PM. Reason: merged
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Old September 11, 2011, 05:45 PM
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Thanks for the information and corrections.

In Spanish, using properly the musical terms, the notes ('notas') are A, B, C.... But we call 'figuras' those symbols that indicate the sound duration. So I don't know if you have a name in English for just the duration, apart from that 'note symbols'.
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Old September 11, 2011, 06:10 PM
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'Note value' (see the title of the page in the link I provided) is the duration. We also say 'note duration'.

The 'note symbol' is the graphic representation of the note. Sometimes, instead of 'note symbol', we just say 'music note'. For example, 'How do I get a music note to appear in my document?'
There are 'music symbol fonts' (or you can search for 'music note fonts' or 'music note symbol fonts'). Such variety!

The notes, as you mentioned, are called A, B, C, etc. Those are the 'names' of the notes (or 'note names'). We also say 'pitch'. For example, 'Play an A for me.' 'What is the name of this note (the teacher pointing to a note on the scale)?' 'What is its pitch?'

'Note symbol' (figura) is a great term. We also use '(music) notation' or 'music (note) symbol'. Which would you prefer as the title?
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Old September 12, 2011, 11:53 AM
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Well, in Spanish people also use 'note' to mean 'figura'. I don't think of it as a great mistake, but I prefer to use the proper term since it exists.

By the way, I attended a course on jazz improvisation in Ireland, and they used the American system. It might be because jazz is an American music, and all the books on this kind of music use this way. But I'm just wondering.

I like both 'note duration' and 'note value'. But you can leave the title as it is if you think it's OK. Thanks.
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Old September 12, 2011, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
British English: semibreve, minim, crotchet, quaver, semiquaver.
Wow, they really say that?
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Old September 13, 2011, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Caballero View Post
Wow, they really say that?
We certainly do, including the demisemiquaver, the hemidemisemiquaver, and of course, not forgetting the quasihemidemisemiquaver
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Old September 13, 2011, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
... and of course, not forgetting the quasihemidemisemiquaver
Wow! You may play two thousands of those in the same time you say 'quasihemidemisemiquaver' aloud.
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Old September 15, 2011, 08:33 AM
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We certainly do, including the demisemiquaver, the hemidemisemiquaver, and of course, not forgetting the quasihemidemisemiquaver
OMG. I still can't help but think what you wrote is a joke. It sounds so incredible. Are you guys familiar with the American system, though as well?
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Old September 15, 2011, 11:25 AM
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OMG. I still can't help but think what you wrote is a joke. It sounds so incredible. Are you guys familiar with the American system, though as well?
Actually, no I'd never heard of it, although I'm not an active musician. But the words I gave do sound quite normal to me, and my daughter-in-law, who is a musician, has just confirmed she uses it as well.

Her response to my question was something like "oh yes, the Americans use some weird system involving numbers" So weirdness is very subjective.
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